Hounslow becomes one of the first councils in London to sign pledge that will tackle food waste

Hounslow joins Hackney, Newham, and Lambeth Councils in signing ‘the Commitment’, which is part of London Councils’ One World Living programme.

Published: Thursday, 13th July 2023

Signing the Commitment, which is part of London Council's One World living programme

Hounslow Council has today announced that it has signed London’s Food Purchasing Commitment (‘the Commitment’) in an innovative move that will reduce the environmental impacts of food the local authority purchases and serves across council operations.

Hounslow joins Hackney, Newham, and Lambeth Councils in signing ‘the Commitment’, which is part of London Councils’ One World Living programme.

ReLondon, Hackney Council and Sustain first developed the initiative in March 2023 in collaboration with a Working Group of 21 London boroughs.

‘The Commitment’ contains targets to reduce per plate carbon emissions across London by 38% by 2030, and to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 in line with the targets in the Mayor of London’s environment strategy.

Nearly 100,000 meals are served each year in Hounslow through council-controlled services such as schools, nurseries, and community food and drink hubs. Hounslow Council’s support of ‘the Commitment’ will have a significant impact in delivering its net zero and consumption-based emissions targets.

This pledge reinforces Hounslow’s ongoing initiatives to reduce food waste and deliver improved sustainability within the borough, with its No Time to Waste recycling campaign and Heston In The Loop circular neighbourhood demonstrator already underway.


Councillor Katherine Dunne, Hounslow Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport said: “Hounslow’s support of the London Food Purchasing Commitment is another example of the Council’s dedication to achieving net zero carbon by 2030.

“As one of the founding signatories of ‘the Commitment’, we’re proud to help pave the way towards more sustainable, circular food systems in London.

“The Council is pledging to ensure that food bought across council-controlled services – including schools, social services, and early years settings - takes into account any impact on our climate and environment.

“We’ll work to reduce per plate carbon emissions across the borough, and welcome other local authorities throughout London to join us in creating a capital city where food is sustainably produced, and never wasted.”


Rachel Shairp, food lead at ReLondon: “The London boroughs of Hackney, Hounslow, Lambeth and Newham are driving the shift towards a low carbon, healthy and fair food system in London.

‘As the four founding signatories of London’s Food Purchasing Commitment they are leading by example and illustrating responsibility to their residents and other stakeholders.

‘All of London’s local authorities and large food procurers are invited to sign the commitment, and we look forward to seeing additional commitments to support food system transformation.”


‘The Commitment’ sets out unified and ambitious targets to ensure that food bought and served across council-controlled services is climate-friendly; that less of it is wasted; and that local and sustainable food producers and growers are championed. It also establishes a reporting framework to measure the emissions and waste reductions resulting from these actions, thereby celebrating London's progress and inspiring other cities to follow suit.

In London, food accounts for almost 10% of the city’s consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions, due to the kinds of food that is eaten, how and where that food is produced, and the amount of it that is wasted. Around 2.3 million tonnes of food is wasted from across London’s food supply chain per year – approximately 67% of which is edible, while just 0.5% is redistributed.

Many Londoners are increasingly suffering from food poverty amid rising food prices and increasing cost of living challenges, with an estimated 1.5 million adults experiencing low or very low food security. Ensuring access to healthy, climate and nature-friendly food for London’s communities is urgent.

‘The Commitment’ has been designed to set a common minimum level of ambition for London’s local authorities, as well as other large buyers of food in the city. Other procurers of food in the city (including academic institutions, venues, workplaces, caterers) are encouraged to join these inaugural four signatories.

  • Find out more and sign London’s Food Purchasing Commitment here: https://relondon.gov.uk/circular-food-procurement
  • In 2019, Hounslow Council declared a climate emergency. The Council committed to taking bold action to reduce its the carbon footprint, and identified measures towards achieving a zero carbon borough by 2030 in its Climate Emergency Action Plan
  • ReLondon – formerly London Waste and Recycling Board -  is a partnership between the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management, and transform the city into a leading low-carbon circular economy. Its mission is to make London a global leader in sustainable ways to live, work and prosper by revolutionising our relationship with stuff. ReLondon is a statutory body, chaired by the Mayor of London. 
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